Monday, February 11, 2013
The Raven Boys
I don't really do reviews of books per se, mainly because I am not a a professional reviewer and I don't want anyone to think I am. However, every now and again I feel compelled to share a book, especially when I think the author is doing a stunning job. The Raven Boys is such a book.
The story begins with Blue, who every year with her psychic mother goes to the same ruined church to identify those who will die in the next twelve months. Unlike her mother Blue is not a psychic, she just makes things louder for those who are. (don't you just love that expression? It's Maggie's btw and it describes perfectly what Blue does without going into a long explanation.) But this year Blue sees one of the dead, a boy named Gansey, and when she asks why she gets this for an answer: "Either you're his true love, or you killed him." C'mon, isn't that enough to pique your curiosity right there?
After that it isn't long before Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys who are searching for an ancient king using ley lines - straight energy lines that connect major spiritual places. It is said that whoever wakes the ancient king will receive a favor. And who doesn't want one of those?
I'm not going to say any more about the story except that it unfolds with lovely precision, gorgeous words, and fascinating, complex characters. I will give you one more snippet, which occurs when Adam, one of the Raven Boys, has entered a magical place.
"The skin of his hand in front of him had become rose and tan. The air moved slowly around his body, somehow tangible, gold flaked, every dust mote a lantern."
I read some of the less complimentary reviews on Amazon out of curiosity and while I can see why those particular complaints were made I can't quite agree. After all, this is magical realism. A suspension of belief is required going in.
All I can say is I was hooked as soon as I stepped into the old churchyard with Blue on St. Mark's Eve, the minute I knew we were standing on the corpse road.